The EU mission has presented its report on the general election held in Abuja. According to Barry Andrews, the chief observer, the report was based on an analysis of Nigeria's compliance with regional and international commitments for democratic elections. Andrews criticized INEC for the operational challenges and glitches encountered with the bimodal voter accreditation system (BVAS) and the result viewing portal, stating that these discrepancies significantly undermined public confidence in the electoral body.
However, the federal government, represented by Dele Alake, the special adviser to the president on special duties, communications, and strategy, dismissed the EU mission's report as a poorly executed desk job. The government argued that the EU mission had limited coverage of the elections and relied on rumors, social media commentaries, and opposition statements for their findings. Alake also emphasized that the 2023 general elections, particularly the presidential election won by Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC), were credible, peaceful, free, fair, and the best organized in Nigeria since 1999.
The government challenged the EU's conclusions, citing the small number of observers deployed and their alleged reliance on unreliable sources. Alake asserted that Nigerians were satisfied with Tinubu's leadership and strongly rejected any notion of electoral fraud. The government further highlighted the validation of the election's transparency and organization by non-partisan foreign and local observers such as the African Union, ECOWAS, Commonwealth Observer Mission, and the Nigerian Bar Association. While INEC also disagreed with the EU mission report, stating that it was unfair to judge the entire election based on a few glitches, the country has moved forward, with President Tinubu focusing on nation-building while legal challenges to the election process continue.
The government urged the EU and other foreign interests to maintain objectivity in assessing Nigeria's internal affairs and allow the nation to progress.
Credit: thecable & TVC